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Iran: Europe must say no to the bomb and to terrorism

By Maryam Rajavi (President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran)
October 10, 2008

The latest IAEA report on Tehran's nuclear program is alarming. Mohammad El Baradei and Javier Solana wanted to avoid this outcome by exercising flexibility and flattery with Tehran. Are they now convinced that the more the mullahs are cajoled the more their appetite increases for a nuclear bomb?

Since 2002, when the Iranian Resistance first revealed the regime’s main clandestine nuclear sites, Western governments have carried out six years of fruitless negotiations coupled with incentives.

These governments squandered the international community’s time, all the while granting more time to the mullahs. Moreover, the 18 percent rise in European Union exports to Iran simply discredits the UN sanctions against the regime. Are these developments unrelated?

The nuclear issue displays the failure of Western policy vis-à-vis the religious dictatorship ruling Iran. In our view, the last six years have provided the mullahs in Tehran with precious time to reach the final phases of building a nuclear bomb: They are now in the process of developing nuclear warheads.

These six years have also resulted in an extensive and surreptitious occupation of Iraq by the Iranian regime, which works to hold hostage Iraqi democracy and security. The mullahs have also stymied the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, split Palestine in half, pushed Lebanon to the brink of civil war and expanded fundamentalism and terrorism throughout the world.

In short, the policy of appeasement towards the mullahs has damaged global peace and security. Its continuation would result in more catastrophic outcomes for the world.

Such a policy is analogous to a famous poem by the well-known eighth-century Iranian poet, Obide Zakani, which describes how a group of mice seeking to coax the hungry cat continually nurtured it by giving it more and more gifts.

Recently, Ali Khamenei, the mullahs' Supreme Leader, spoke of the necessity for a second presidential term for the mullahs’ President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. What else is needed to prove the fiasco caused by the appeasement and goodwill gestures towards this regime?

Such an approach is now at an impasse. There are four underlying policy blunders committed by the West.

The first is that the West bought into the mullahs’ hollow show of force. It discounted the fact that the mullahs conceal their true vulnerability, which results from their severe domestic weaknesses, behind a veil of cruel acts and terrorist tactics.

The second is to ignore the profundity of the Iranian people's contempt and hatred for the Iranian regime. The regime's lobbyists try to propagate the utterly false notion that if the international community were to adopt a firm policy towards the regime, such as a boycott, the people would begin to back the mullahs. They pretend to be unaware of the misery and torturous circumstances experienced by the Iranian people under the mullahs' rule.

One can discover the real extent to which the mullahs embody a "people's power" by remembering that, according to official figures, their parliamentary deputies in ten major cities could only muster 2% to 14% of the votes. In fact, the regime’s entire social base amounts to roughly 3% of the total population, and is comprised of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the paramilitary Bassij Force, and intelligence services.

The mullahs have repeatedly rejected the Iranian Resistance’s calls for truly free elections in Iran under the auspices of the United Nations. This is because they know perfectly well that to stop their hangings and torture even for a single day would expose them to a massive and popular upheaval.

The West’s third blunder is that it has failed to acknowledge the explosive nature of the Iranian society. The country’s economy is devastated, and the inflation and unemployment rates are increasing day by day. The price of bread has doubled and that of rice, a staple Iranian food, has tripled in the past year alone. All this happens at a time when oil revenues have steadily increased. But, not even a fragment of the budget now totaling nearly 100 billion dollars has made it to the Iranian people’s pockets.

Finally, the West has not taken into account the real solution to the Iranian crisis. The regime and its allies claim that there is no credible, legitimate, and deeply rooted alternative for the mullahs. In the absence of a force for change, the mullahs’ eternal and absolute rule is deemed inevitable and people are viewed as unwilling to be involved in bringing about change. But, there does exist a capable and dynamic force at the heart of Iranian society and history, which is heir to one of the greatest civilizations of mankind, and which is passionately working towards obtaining freedom.

Resistance against fundamentalism in Iran presents the real solution to the crisis since it has been set in motion by social and popular movements. The Iranian Resistance, whose central axis is the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), a democratic and tolerant Muslim organization, presents the antithesis to religious fascism under the guise of Islam.

Our Resistance rejects any form of foreign intervention and instead advocates democratic change through the Iranian people. This Resistance is committed to fundamental freedoms and the establishment of a pluralistic and secular republic in Iran, which would ban censorship and inquisition and would respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

But, currently this option has been hampered. The inclusion of PMOI, the main opposition to the mullahs, on the European list of terrorist organizations, is a logical consequence of the West’s series of policy blunders. Fearful of losing lucrative economic deals, such as oil contracts, the EU has refused to follow Britain’s lead and remove the PMOI from its list. Kneeling in front of the mullahs is demonstrative of an enormous disgrace. The terror label has helped the regime to physically eliminate its opponents and impose pressure on the 3,500 PMOI members currently residing in Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

As long as the EU continues to label the principal Iranian opposition as “terrorist” and block the path of change in Iran, it would keep on playing into the mullahs’ hands. We demand nothing more from the EU than to remain neutral when it comes to the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and democracy. France, which now holds the EU’s rotating presidency, shoulders a monumental task in this regard.

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